I wear orange for my son Samaad Zaire Frazier.
He was gunned down on Churchill Ave in Somerset on Dec 31 2019 by 5 young men who knew and went to school with him.
He was 19 years old and a 2018 graduate of FHS and an elite basketball player.
His death was 1 of 3 that year in Somerset.
He was preceded by the deaths of Dominic Frederick on May 25 and Monserrat Noyola-Narvaez on October 29.
it’s been a difficult journey of healing for those who knew and loved samaad because he was murdered by people who knew him.
Knowing both sides has made it difficult for my family, his friends, and the community to understand how five young men ages 18, 18, 21, 16, and 16 could take the life of an unarmed human being.
I believe that ending gun violence begins in the community.
we need to build united communities where school officials have programs in place for conflict resolution in and out of school.
Where community leaders have positive outlets and programs for the youth.
Where Citizens are not afraid to speak up about what’s going on to law-enforcement and community leaders.
Where we are addressing mental health issues and providing solutions.
Where parents who see their child going down the wrong path make a decision to get involved, and get them help before something bad happens.
Where youth in the community who see a child going down the wrong path, or gang activity forming with a group of kids, or messages on social media that don’t seem right make a decision to say something to someone and get an adult involved.
Where we learn as human beings to use conflict resolution first by putting the stories down for maintenance before making a rash decision to use gun violence to get our points across.
I became mom the day my son lost his life to all of the young people that Samaad touched in 19 years.
After much encouragement from Samaad’s mentor and trainer Coach Audrey Taylor, FHS basketball girls coach i started my nonprofit One Family One Fight in 2020.
We began by having youth focused events throughout the year.
I also partnered with her nonprofit Passion for Youth Inc to start our basketball league Legends Basketball.
It’s a developmental boys basketball league that combines Sports plus mentorship to teach life and leadership skills on and off the court. We use empowerment workshops to teach conflict resolution, leadership skills, responsible decision making, relationship skills, and effective communication.
We also hold an annual Youth Over Guns Family Day Event in June at Eagle’s Landing Day Camp in North Brunswick to not only celebrate Samaad’s life and legacy, but to bring the youth and their families together for a day of peace, family fun activities, motivational speeches, a basketball tournament, and a concert by his brothers who began their careers by making music about the pain of losing Samaad.
We’ve done the beginning part by gathering today now let’s continue the work and build communities that work together to end gun violence! Get involved!
“Love is stronger than death even though it can’t stop death from happening, but no matter how hard death tries, it can’t separate people from love. It can’t take away our memories either. In the end, life is stronger than death.” – Anonymous